More from Arizona – Milwaukee Brewers

In this fourth and final installment of “Dave’s Spring Training Trip to Arizona, 2009”, I venture off the beaten path.  No former LumberKings making names for themselves in Texas Rangers camp, no future LumberKings throwing sides in the dusty back diamonds at Seattle Mariners camp today.  This post is all about….the Milwaukee Brewers?

Yes, the Brewers.  They are now the parent club of our own West Division rival Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.  However, they also happen to be the club that employed me for seven seasons.  Thus, I have a lot of ties to Miller Park and the Brewers organization.  Still, this was my first-ever trip to the Maryvale Baseball Park.



We won’t be talking about prospects like Brett Lawrie and Cutter Dykstra here.  Sounds like we’re about to see enough of those guys in Appleton this summer.  Besides, I didn’t even see them.  I did see these guys, though:

100_0622.JPG                    New Brewers manager Ken Macha, exchanging lineup cards with Lou Piniella.


         Macha seated next to bench coach Willie Randolph.  How about this pair for a braintrust?

100_0623.JPGJeff Suppan was just one of many successful Brewers hurlers this day.  The Cubs failed to score in a 2-0 loss.


       The Colossus of Sprout himself (I really hope you get this vegetarian joke), Prince Fielder.


Craig Counsell trying out a new batting stance this year.  Gone is the “reach for the sky” technique.  He happens to be my favorite Brewer for several reasons: he scored the winning run in the 1997 World Series for my OTHER favorite team, the Florida Marlins, and, he was born in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin.  Plus, he’s a cagey veteran.


A Trot Nixon sighting!  I don’t know why, but it’s still a novelty to see Nixon in a Brewers uniform.


A prospect on the cusp, third-baseman Mat Gamel.  He saw a bit more playing time (along with Mike Lamb and Casey McGehee) with Bill Hall out nursing a tear to his left calf.  Gamel’s bat is big-league ready…but much like Ryan Braun just two years ago, apparently his glove still needs some work.


The aforementioned McGehee, who I think is going to be a huge steal off waivers from the Cubs.  He hit a wall-scraping grand slam against WBC Australia to turn the tide of a very close game on March 5 while I was there. 

100_0625.JPGCorey Hart.  I needn’t remind you that he wears his sunglasses at night.  He’s absolutely raking this spring.

Prior to joining the LumberKings in 2006, I served as the research intern for Brewers Baseball on FSN North.  This meant gathering a lot of the more offbeat information for announcers Daron Sutton and Bill Schroeder.  After Daron departed for the Arizona Diamondbacks, I got the chance to meet and assist current play-by-play announcer Brian Anderson.  Daron, Bill and Brian have all been extremely influential on me as a young broadcaster, and I still come back to Milwaukee every September to reprise my role in the booth.  It keeps me connected with those guys and allows me to keep learning.

Also, it means I’m welcome in the broadcast booth at Maryvale.  I stopped up on two separate occasions while they were webcasting.




Brian, myself and Bill.

I also got the chance to meet the newest addition to the Brewers radio booth as well, broadcaster Cory Provus.  It won’t be easy replacing a guy like Jim Powell, but in the brief time I got to know Cory, it was easy to see how focused and prepared he is.  Even while Brian and Bill were in the midst of the webcast against WBC Australia, Cory was making notes on each player.  I caught a bit of his broadcast a few days later against the Cubs and really enjoyed listening in.  I’m sure Brewers fans will agree.


100_0630.JPG                               Engineer Kent Sommerfeld, myself and Cory Provus.

100_0643.JPGThis concludes my blogging tour across the Cactus League (or three stadiums, at least).  Next week, we’ll return back to Clinton, where there’s plenty of final preparations going on as the 2009 regular season approaches.  Until then, keep your comments coming!



let’s not put “suppan” and “successful” in the same sentence again… otherwise, pretty sweet look at spring training, dave…

nice look at spring training, dave… craig counsell rules!

That’s a nice hat you have on in all those pictures. How much did it cost? I think I remember seeing one at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.


That hat comes courtesy of the good people at New Era. New Era, the top brand in field hats.

Dave, first stop to your blog but it won’t be the last…………………….

I’m a Rattler fan over here in the Appleton area and while i’ve warmed up to the Brewers organization I will miss the Mariners and will continue to follow the progress of their minor leaguers………………………………….

I myself got back from a first time trip down to the Phoenix area specifically for Spring Training (and golf…and alcohol…) and i’d love to make it an annual trip……………………………………..

We were at the Cubs-Brewers game on Monday 3/16. Not a bad stadium. It was cozy, but the other three we went to were a step ahead………………………………………..

We also saw the Sox-Mariners in Peoria on Sunday 3/15 which was really cool. That is a nice facility. Got to see several former Rattlers get into the game (Rob Johnson, Mike Wilson, Carlos Truienfel and my all time favorite Rattler…TUI!!!!)……………………………………….

Did you make it to any other stadiums? We also hit Camelback Ranch for Rangers-Dodgers on Friday 3/13 (awsome, brand new) and then Surprise Stadium for D-Backs-Royals on Saturday 3/14 (another great venue and the best parking, paved, close and FREE)…………………………………

Again, nice looking blog and i’ll be sure to make it part of my regular rotation (just don’t tell Mehring, he might get jealous…)…………………………

Looking forward to you & the young Mariners visiting Fox Cities Stadium twice this year.

(mike j)

Thanks for the comment! Glad you’ve found the blog. To answer your question, I only got to those three spring facilities. I wanted to get out to some more parks, but just didn’t have the time in my five-day trip. I did take a tour of Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but decided not to post those on the blog (not really relevant). Stop by and say hi when we’re in Appleton, I’m not hard to find.

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